By: Krystle Crossman
State Farm insurance company was trying to capitalize on the increased number of engagements that happen around the holidays. They developed an ad that they thought would attract a lot of positive interest. The ad featured a black man down on one knee proposing to a white female. They used #ProtectTheBling remind people that they should insure their valuables just in case something happens to them and congratulated all of the couples that were getting engaged during the Christmas season. Unfortunately for State Farm they did not get the positive feedback that they were expecting. Instead the Internet lashed out at their use of an interracial couple.
The racists on social media came out to play to attack State Farm for their use of the interracial couple in their ad. They received multiple replies on Twitter with Photo shopped versions of their advertisement where the black male was replaced by photo of a gorilla, or a caricature, or a blank space where the man should’ve been. There have been people who have been posting fake statistics about white women who get into relationships with black men and end up single with a child and on welfare. Photos have been posted of white women who appear to have been beaten with more fake statistics about majority of domestic violence being caused by Black men against white women. One photo even had the word AIDS where the ring box should have been.
State Farm unfortunately is not the first company to receive backlash for featuring an interracial couple in their advertisements. In 2013 Cheerios created an advertisement where an interracial family was eating the cereal for breakfast. They received a lot of harsh criticism from racist commentators on social media, but Cheerios didn’t back down. Instead they created yet another ad with the interracial couple in an effort to tell those leaving hateful comments that they were being ignored. Even though there were mostly racist comments about the advertisement there were some positive ones left as well. One family posted a photo of their interracial family and thanked State Farm for showing diversity within their advertisements. State Farm has not made any comment about the advertisement but has not been taken down at this time.